Sunday, October 30, 2011

Capital: Volume 1, Chapter 14 by Karl Marx

Chapter 14: The Division of Labour and Manufacture

- The dual origin of manufacture

  1. "manufacturing period": "extends roughly speaking, from the middle of the sixteenth century to the last third of the eighteenth century." - 455
  2. "Instead of each man being allowed to perform all the various operations in succession, these operations are changed into disconnected, isolated ones, carried on side by side; each is assigned to a different craftsman, and the whole of them together are performed simultaneously by the co-operators. This accidental division is repeated, develops advantages of its own and gradually ossifies into a systematic division of labour." - 456
  3. "this division of labour is a particular sort of cooperation, and many of its advantages spring from the nature of co-operation in general, not from this particular form of it." - 458; competition vs. co-operation
- The specialized worker and his tools

  1. "once this partial labour is established as the exclusive function of one person, the method it employs become perfected...his attention on it teach him by experience how to attain the desired effect with the minimum of exertion." - 458
  2. "the conversion of a partial task into the life-long destiny of a man corresponds to the tendency shown by earlier societies towards making trades hereditary." - 459
- The two fundamental forms of manufacture: heterogeneous and organic

  1. "In watchmaking, that classical example of heterogeneous manufacture, we may study with great accuracy the above-mentioned differentiation and specialization of the instruments of labour which arises from the decomposition of the craftsman's activity." - 463, notes
  2. organic, "The collective worker, formed from the combination of the many specialized workers, draws the wire with one set of tooled-up hands, straightens the wire with another set, armed with different tools, cuts it with another set, points it with another set, and so on. The different stages of the process, previously successive in time, have become simultaneous and contiguous in space." - 464
  3. "The result of the labour of the one is the starting-point for the labour of the other. One worker therefore directly sets the other to work." - 464
  4. "The one-sidedness and the deficiencies of the specialized individual worker become perfections when he is part of the collective worker. The habit of doing only one thing converts him into an organ which operates with the certainty of a force of nature, while his connection with the whole mechanism compels him to work with the regularity of a machine." - 469
- The division of labour in manufacture, and the division of labour in society

  1. "The foundation of every division of labour which has attained a certain degree of development, and has been brought about by the exchange of commodities, is the separation of town from country." - 472
  2. "The division of labour within society is mediated through the purchase and sale of the products of different branches of industry, while the connection between the various partial operations in a workshop is mediated through the sale of labour-power of several workers to one capitalist, who applies it as combined labour-power." - 476
  3. "It is very characteristic that the enthusiastic apologists of the factory system have nothing more damning to urge against a general organization of labour in society than that it would turn the whole of society into a factory." - 477
- The capitalist character of manufacture

  1. "it is a law, springing form the technical character of manufacture, that the minimum amount of capital which the capitalist must possess has to go on increasing. In other words, the transformation of the social means of production and subsistence into capital must keep extending." - 480
  2. "The understandings of the greater part of men are necessarily formed by their ordinary employments. The man whose life is spent in performing a few simple operations...has no occasion to exert his understanding...He generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become." - 483, Adam Smith
  3. "It is machines that abolish the role of the handicraftsman as the regulating principle of social production...the technical reason for the lifelong attachment of the worker to a partial function is swept away...the barriers placed in the way of the domination of capital by this same regulating  principle now also fall." - 491

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Capital: Volume 1, Chapters 12-13 by Karl Marx

Chapter 12: The Concept of Relative Surplus-Value

  1. "The surplus labour would in this case be prolonged only by transgressing its normal limits, its domain would be extended only by a usurpation of part of the domain of necessary labour-time." - 431
  2. productivity, "when surplus-value has to be produced by the conversion of necessary labour time into surplus labour, it by no means suffices for capital to take over the labour process in its given or historically transmitted shape, and then simply to prolong its duration. The technical and social conditions of the process and consequently the mode of production itself must be revolutionized before the productivity of labour can be increased. Then, with the increase in the productivity of labour, the value of labour-power will fall, and the portion of the working day necessary for the reproduction of that value will be shortened." - 432
  3. "There is a motive for each individual capitalist to cheapen his commodities by increasing the productivity of labour." - 435
  4. "this extra surplus-value vanishes as soon as the new method of production is generalized, for then the difference between the individual value of the cheapened commodity and its social value vanishes." - 436
  5. relative surplus-value and productivity are directly proportional - 436
Chapter 13: Co-operation
  1. "Each individual man's day is an aliquot part of the collective working day, no matter whether the twelve men help each other in their work, or whether the connection between their operations consists merely in the fact that the men are all working for the same capitalist...The law of valorization therefore comes fully into its own for the individual producer only when he produces as a capitalist and employs a number of workers simultaneously" - 441
  2. "Economy in the use of the means of production has to be considered from two points of so far as it cheapens commodities, and thereby brings about a fall in the value of so far as it alters the ratio of surplus-value to the total capital advanced" - 442
  3. "the social productive power of labour, or the productive power of social labour. This power arises from co-operation itself. When the worker co-operates in a planned way with others, he strips off the fetters of his individuality, and develops the capabilities of his species." - 447
  4. direction of labour-power: "The work of directing, superintending and adjusting becomes one of the functions of capital, from the moment that the labour under capital's control becomes the means of production extend, the necessity increases for some effective control over the proper application of them, because they confront the wage-labourer as the property of another...the co-operation of wage-labourers is entirely brought about by the capital that employs them. Their unification into one single productive body, and the establishment of a connection between their individual functions, lies outside their competence." - 449
  5. "Being independent of each other, the workers are isolated. They enter into relations with the capitalist, but not with each other. Their co-operation only begins with the labour process, but by then they have ceased to belong to themselves...As co-operators, as members of a working organism, they merely form a particular mode of existence of capital. Hence the productive power developed by the worker socially is the productive power of capital." - 451

Friday, October 28, 2011

Capital: Volume 1, Chapters 9-11 by Karl Marx

Chapter 9: The Rate of Surplus-Value

  1. C = c+v; "The capital C is made up of two components, one the sum of money c laid out on means of production, and the other the sum of money v expended on labour-power" - 320
  2. C' = (c+v) + s; s being surplus-value
  3. "The new value actually created in the process, the 'value-product', is therefore not the same as the value of the product; it is not...(c+v) + s...but rather v+s...c, the constant capital, = 0"; C = (0+v) = v, C' = v+s --> C'-C = s (322)
  4. v+s = v + change in v; "we know that surplus-value is purely the result of an alteration in the value of v" - 322
  5. rate of surplus value: s/v, "the ratio in which the variable capital has valorized its value" - 324
  6. surplus labour: "During the second period of the labour process, that in which his labour is no longer necessary labour, the worker does indeed expend labour-power, he does work, but his labour is no longer necessary labour...He creates surplus-value which, for the capitalist, has all the charms of something created out of nothing." - 325
  7. s/v ~ surplus labour, necessary labour - 326
  8. rate of surplus value: "the degree of exploitation of labour-power by capital, or of the worker by the capitalist." - 326
  9. Senior's "Last Hour" - "my assertion that in the first 5 3/4 hours he produces his wages, and in the last 5 3/4 hours your net profit, amounts only to this, that you pay him for the former, but not for the latter." - 336
Chapter 10: The Working Day

- The limits of the working day
  1. "The working day is thus not a constant, but a variable quantity...its total amount varies with the duration of the surplus labour. The working day is therefore capable of being determined, but in and for itself indeterminate." - 341
  2. "Capital is dead labour which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks. The time during which the worker works is the time during which the capitalist consumes the labour power he has bought from him. If the worker consumes his disposable time for himself, he robs the capitalist." - 342
- The voracious appetite for surplus labour. Manufacturer and Boyar.
  1. "Wherever a part of society possesses the monopoly of the means of production, the worker, free or unfree, must add to the labour-time necessary for his own maintenance an extra quantity of labour-time in order to produce the means of subsistence for the owner of the means of production" - 344
  2. "The less business there is, the more profit has to be made on the business done. The less time spent in work, the more of that time has to be turned into surplus labour-time." - 350
- Branches of English industry without legal limits to exploitation

  1. "this slow sacrifice of humanity which takes place in order that veils and collars may be fabricated for the benefit of capitalists" - 354
  2. "The incredible adulteration of bread...was first revealed by the Committee of the House of Commons 'on the adulteration of articles of food'...The Committee itself more or less naively formulated its conviction that free trade essentially meant trade with adulterated, or as the English ingeniously put it, 'sophisticated' goods." - 358
- Day-work and night-work. The shift system
  1. "The prolongation of the working day beyond the limits of the natural day, into the night, only acts as a palliative. It only slightly quenches the vampire thirst for the living blood of labour. Capitalist production therefore drives, by its inherent nature, towards the appropriation of labour throughout the whole of the 24 hours in the day...An alternation becomes necessary, between the labour-power used up by day and those used up by night." - 367
  2. "Steel-making is simply a pretext for profit-making. The steel furnaces, rolling-mills, etc., the buildings, machinery, iron, coal, etc., have something more to do than transform themselves into steel. They are there to absorb surplus labour, and they naturally absorb more in 24 hours than in 12." - 373
- The struggle for a normal working day. Laws for the compulsory extension of the working day, from the middle of the fourteenth to the end of the seventeenth century
  1. "In every stock-jobbing swindle everyone knows that some time or other the crash must come, but everyone hopes that it may fall on the head of his neighbor, after he himself has caught the shower of gold and placed it in secure hands. Apres moi le deluge! is the watchword of every capitalist and every capitalist nation. Capital therefore takes no account of the health and the length of life of the worker, unless society forces it to do so." - 381
  2. "While the modern Factory Acts compulsorily shorten the working day, the earlier ['English Labour'] statutes ['from the fourteenth to well into the middle of the eighteenth'] tried forcibly to lengthen it...the pretensions of capital in its embryonic state...must be aided by the power of the state" - 382
  3. "The more carefully we examine the history of the past, the more reason shall we find to dissent from those who imagine that our age has been fruitful of new social evils...That which is new is the intelligence and the humanity which remedies them." - History of England, Macaulay - 385, footnotes
  4. "Protestantism, by changing almost all the traditional holidays into working days, played an important part in the genesis of capital." - 387, footnotes
- The struggle for a normal working day. Laws for the compulsory limitation of working hours. The English Factory  legislation of 1833-64
  1. "The law-makers were so far from wishing to interfere with the freedom of capital to exploit adult labour-power, or, as they called it, 'the freedom of labour', that they created a special system in order to prevent the Factory Acts from having such a frightful consequence." - 391
  2. "The years 1846 to 1847 are epoch-making in the economic history of England. The Corn Laws were repealed; the duties on cotton and other raw materials were removed; free trade was proclaimed as the guiding star of legislation, in short, the millennium had arrived."  - 395
  3. "the most fundamental right under the law of capital is the equal exploitation of labour-power by all capitalists." - 405
- The struggle for a normal working day. Impact of the English factory legislation on other countries
  1. "Capital's drive towards a boundless and ruthless extension of the working day is satisfied first in those industries which were first to be revolutionized by water-power, steam and machinery,...the spinning and weaving of cotton, wool, flax and silk." - 411
  2. "the worker as 'free' seller of his labour-power, succumbs without resistance once capitalist production has reached a certain stage of maturity. The establishment of a normal working day is therefore the product of a protracted and more or less concealed civil war between the capitalist class and the working class." - 412-3
Chapter 11: The Rate and Mass of Surplus-Value
  1. rate of surplus-value: "the value of labour-power, and therefore the part of the working day necessary for the reproduction or maintenance of that labour-power, is assumed to be a given, constant magnitude. With this presupposition, the rate of surplus-value directly gives us the mass of surplus-value furnished to the capitalist by the worker within a definite period of time." - 417
  2. mass of surplus-value: "determined by the product of the number of labour-powers simultaneously exploited by the same capitalist and the degree of exploitation of each individual labour-power." - 418
  3. "A certain stage of capitalist production necessitates that the capitalist be able to devote the whole of the time during which he functions as a capitalist, i.e. as capital personified, to the appropriation and therefore the control of the labour of others...and to the sale of the products of that labour." - 423

Monday, October 17, 2011

Capital: Volume 1, Chapters 7-8 by Karl Marx

Chapter 7: The Labour Process and the Valorization Process

- The labour process
  1. "In order to embody his labour in commodities, he must above all embody it in use-values, things which serve to satisfy needs of one kind or another. Hence what the capitalist sets the worker to produce is a particular use-value, a specific article." - 283
  2. "He develops the potentialities slumbering within nature, and subjects the play of its forces to his own sovereign power." - 283
  3. "The simple elements of the labour-process are": "purposeful activity, that is work itself", "the object on which that work is performed", and "the instruments of that work." - 284
  4. "He makes use of the mechanical, physical and chemical properties of some substances in order to set them to work on other substances as instruments of his power, and in accordance with his purposes." - 285
  5. changing instruments of labor: "The use and construction of instruments of labour, although present in germ among certain species of animals, is characteristic of the specifically human labour process and [Benjamin] Franklin therefore defines man as 'a tool-making animal'...It is not what is made but how, and by what instruments of labour, that distinguishes different economic epochs." - 286
  6. "Although a use-value emerges from the labour process, in the form of a product, other use-values, products of previous labour, enter into it as means of production...Products are therefore not only results of labour, but also its essential conditions." - 287
  7. "the product of individual consumption is the consumer himself; the result of productive consumption is a product distinct from the consumer." - 290
  8. "The labour process...exhibits two characteristics phenomena": "the worker works under the control of the capitalist to whom his labour belongs" - 291, "the product is the property of the capitalist and not that of the worker, its immediate producer." - 292
  9. "By the purchase of labour-power, the capitalist incorporates labour, as a living agent of fermentation, into the lifeless constituents of the product, which also belongs to him...The labour process is a process between things the capitalist has purchases, things which belong to him." - 292
- The valorization process
  1. "Our capitalist has two objectives": "he wants to produce a use-value which has exchange value" and "he wants to produce a commodity greater in value than the sum of the values of the commodities used to produce it" - 293
  2. "If we now compare the process of creating value with the process of valorization, we see that the latter is nothing but the continuation of the former beyond a definite point." - 302
Chapter 8: Constant Capital and Variable Capital

- "the two properties of labour" - 309
  1. preserve and create value - 309
  2. "On the one hand, the longer time necessary to spin a given weight of cotton into yarn, the greater the amount of fresh value added to the cotton; but, on the other hand, the greater the weight of the cotton spun in a given time, the greater is the value preserved, by being transferred from it to the product." - 309
- "The lifetime of an instrument of labour is thus spent in the repetition of a greater or lesser number of similar operations. The instrument suffers the same fate as the man." - 311

- preservation of value: "As regards the means of production, what is really consumed is their use-value, and the consumption of this use-value by labour results in the product. There is in fact no consumption of their value...It is rather preserved...because the use-value in which it originally existed vanishes (although when it vanishes, it does so into another use-value)." - 315

- "We know however from what has gone before that the labour process may continue beyond the time necessary to reproduce and incorporate in the product a mere equivalent for the value of the labour-power...This surplus-value is the difference between the value of the product and the value of the elements consumed in the formation of the product, in other words the means of production and the labour-power." - 317

- constant capital: "That part of capital, therefore, which is turned into means of production, i.e. the raw material, the auxiliary material and the instruments of labour, does not undergo any quantitative alteration of value in the process of production." - 317

- variable capital: "that part of capital which is turned into labour-power does undergo an alteration of value in the process of production...reproduces the equivalent of its own value and...a surplus-value, which may itself vary, and be more or less according to circumstances." - 317

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Capital: Volume 1, Chapters 4-6 by Karl Marx

Chapter 4: The General Formula for Capital

- "The circulation of commodities is the starting-point of capital...World trade and the world market date from the sixteenth century, and from then on the modern history of capital starts to This ultimate product of commodity circulation is the first form of appearance of capital." - 247

- Money vs. capital
  1. money: direct form of circulation, C-M-C, "selling in order to buy" - 247
  2. capital: M-C-M, "buying in order to sell" - 248
  3. "In the cycle C-M-C, therefore, the expenditure of money has nothing to do with its reflux. In M-C-M on the other hand the reflux of the money is conditioned by the very manner in which it is expended. Without this reflux, the operation fails" - 250
- surplus value of capital: "The complete form of this process is therefore M-C-M', where M' = M + Δ M, i.e. the original sum advanced plus an increment. This increment or excess over the original value I call 'surplus-value'." - 251

- "it is only in so far as the appropriation of ever more wealth in the abstract is the sole driving force behind his operations that he functions as a capitalist, i.e. as capital personified and endowed with consciousness and a will. Use-values must therefore never be treated as the immediate aim of the capitalist; nor must the profit on any single transaction. His aim is rather the unceasing movement of profit-making." - 254

- M-M': interest-bearing loan - 257

Chapter 5: Contradictions in the General Formula
  1. "all that happens in a metamorphosis, a mere change in the form of the commodity. The same value, i.e. the same quantity of objectified social labour, remains throughout in the hands of the same commodity-owner, first in the shape of his own commodity, then in the shape of the money into which the commodity had been transformed, and finally in the shape of the commodity into which this money had been re-converted", change in form does not imply change in magnitude of value - 260
  2. "In its pure form, the exchange of commodities is an exchange of equivalents, and thus it is not a method of increasing value." - 261
  3. "all owners of commodities sell their goods to each other at 10 per cent above their value, which is exactly the same as if they sold them at their true value." - 263
  4. circulation does not produce surplus value, "If equivalents are exchanged, no surplus-value results, and if non-equivalents are exchanged, we still have no surplus-value. Circulation, or the exchange of commodities, creates no value." - 266
  5. surplus-value "can only be derived from the twofold advantage gained, over both the selling and the buying producers, by the merchant who parasitically inserts himself between them. It is in this sense that [Benjamin] Franklin says 'war is robbery, commerce is cheating'." - 267
  6. M-C-M' = merchants' capital; M-M' = usurers' capital
  7. Aristotle on usury (lending money with interest) in the Nicomachean Ethics , "the usurer is most rightly hated, because money itself is the source of his gain, and is not used for the purposes for which it was invented. For it originated for the exchange of commodities, but interest makes out of money, more money. Hence its name [toxos(Greek): interest, offspring] For the offspring resembles the parent. But interest is money, so that of all modes of making a living, this is the most contrary to Nature." - 267
  8. "Capital cannot therefore arise from circulation, and it is equally impossible for it to arise apart from circulation. It must have its origin both in circulation and not in circulation. We therefore have a double result." - 268
Chapter 6: The Sale and Purchase of Labour-Power
  1. labour-power: "In order to extract value out of the consumption of a commodity, our friend the money-owner must be lucky enough to find within the sphere of circulation, on the market, a commodity whose use-value possesses the peculiar property of being a source of value, whose actual consumption is therefore itself an objectification of labour, hence a creation of value. The possessor of money does find such a special commodity on the market: the capacity for labour" - 270
  2. "labour-power can appear on the market as a commodity only if, and in so far as, its possessor, the individual whose labour-power it is, offers it for sale or sells it as a commodity...He must constantly treat his labour-power as his own property, his own commodity, and he can do this only by placing it at the disposal of the buyer, i.e. handing it over to the buyer for him to consume, for a definite period of time, temporarily. In this way he manages both to alienate his labour-power and to avoid renouncing his rights of ownership over it." - 271
  3. "this worker must be free in the double sense that as a free individual he can dispose of his labour-power as his own commodity, and that, on the other hand, he has no other commodity for sale, i.e. he is rid of them, he is free of all the objects needed for the realization of his labour-power." - 273
  4. value of labour-power: "the value of the means of subsistence necessary for the maintenance of its owner." - 274
  5. "In every country where the capitalist mode of production prevails, it is the custom not to pay for labour-power until it has been exercised for the period fixed by the contract...the worker advance the use-value of his labour-power to the capitalist...Everywhere the worker allows credit to the capitalist." - 278
  6. "The only force bringing them together, and putting them into relation with each other, is the selfishness, the gain and the private interest of each. Each pays heed to himself only, and no one worries about the others." - 280

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Capital: Volume 1, Chapter 3 by Karl Marx

Chapter 3: Money or the Circulation of Commodities

- The measure of values
  1. "It is not money that renders the commodities commensurable. Quite the contrary. Because all commodities, as values, are objectified human labour, and therefore in themselves commensurable" - 188
  2. money-form or price: x commodity A = y money commodity
  3. "the less the unit of measurement (here a quantity of gold) is subject to variation, the better the standard of price fulfils its office. But gold can serve as a measure of value only because it is itself a product of labour, and therefore potentially variable in value." - 192
  4. causes of a "general rise in the prices of commodities", inflation: rise in commodity value, money value constant; fall in money value, commodity value constant - 193
  5. "The possibility, therefore, of a quantitative incongruity between price and magnitude of value, i.e. the possibility that the price may diverge from the magnitude of value, is inherent in the price-form itself. This is not a defect, but, on the contrary, it makes this form the adequate one for a mode of production whose laws can only assert themselves as blindly operating averages between constant irregularities." - 197
- The means of circulation

A. The metamorphosis of commodities
  1. biological economics: "In so far as the process of exchange transfers commodities from hands in which they are non-use-values to hands in which they are use-values, it is a process of social metabolism." - 198
  2. exchange splits a commodity into use-value (the material commodity) and value (money), an inherent tension - 199
  3. "The process of exchange is therefore accomplished through the following changes of forms: Commodity-Money-Commodity" - 200
  4. "But the division of labour is an organization of production which has grown up naturally, a web which has been, and continues to be, woven behind the backs of the producers of commodities." - 201
  5. price to use-value discrepancies: "all these pieces taken as a whole may contain superfluously expended labour-time." - 202
  6. "a sale is a purchase, C-M is also M-C." - 203
  7. "Money is the absolutely alienable commodity, because it is all other commodities divested of their shape, the product of their universal alienation." - 205
  8. "Circulation sweats money from every pore." - 208
B. The circulation of money
  1. "As means of circulation, money circulates commodities, which in and for themselves lack the power of movement, and transfers them from hands in which they are non-use-values into hands in which they are use-values...Money constantly removes commodities from the sphere of circulation, by constantly stepping into their place in circulation, and in this way continually moving away from its own starting-point" - 211
  2. "If the mass of commodities remains constant, the quantity of money in circulation surges up or down according to the fluctuations in the prices of commodities....Whether the change in the price reflects an actual change in the value of the commodities, or merely fluctuations in their market prices, the effect on the quantity of the medium of circulation remains are the same." - 215
  3. "The quantity of money thrown into the process of circulation at the beginning of each day is of course determined by the sum of the prices of all the commodities circulating simultaneously and side by side." - 216
C. Coin, the symbol of value
  1. "The different national uniforms worn at home by gold and silver as coins, but taken off again when they appear on the world market, demonstrate the separation between the internal or national spheres of commodity circulation and its universal sphere, the world market." - 222
  2. "The metallic content of silver and copper tokens is arbitrarily determined by law. In the course of circulation they wear down even more rapidly than gold coins. Their function as coins is therefore in practice entirely independent of their weight, i.e. it is independent of all value. In its form of existence as coin, gold becomes completely divorced from the substance of its value. Relatively valueless objects, therefore, such as paper notes, can serve as coins in place of gold." - 223-4
- Money
A. Hoarding
  1. "as soon as the series of metamorphoses is interrupted, as soon as sales are not supplemented by subsequent purchases, money is immobilized" - 227
  2. "His needs are ceaselessly renewed, and necessitate the continual purchase of other people's commodities, whereas the production and sale of his own commodity costs time and is subject to various accidents. In order then to be able to buy without selling, he must have sold previously without buying." - 228
  3. "The hoarding drive is boundless in its nature. Qualitatively or formally considered, money is independent of all limits...This contradiction between the quantitative limitation and the qualitative lack of limitation of money keeps driving the hoarder back to his Sisyphean task: accumulation." - 230-1
B. Means of payment
  1. "The seller sells an existing commodity, the buyer buys as the mere representative of money, or rather as the representative of future money. The seller becomes a creditor, the buyer becomes a receives a new function as well. It becomes the means of payment." - 233
  2. buyer: M --> C before C --> M; seller: C --> M before M --> C; hoarder: C --> M, stop
  3. "Whenever there is a general disturbance of the mechanism [of an "ongoing chain of payments"], no matter what its cause, money suddenly and immediately changes from its merely nominal shape, money of account, into hard cash....The bourgeois, drunk with prosperity and arrogantly certain of himself, has just declared that money is a purely imaginary notion. 'Commodities alone are money,' he said. But now the opposite cry resounds over the markets of the world: only money is a commodity." - 236
  4. "Credit-money springs directly out of the function of money as a means of payment, in that certificates of debts owing for already purchased commodities themselves circulate for the purpose of transferring these debts to others." - a circulation of debt - 238
  5. "The development of money as a means of payment makes it necessary to accumulate it in preparation for the days when the sums which are owing fall due." - 240
C. World money
  1. "World money serves as the universal means of payment, as the universal means of purchase, and as the absolute social materialization of wealth as such (universal wealth)." - 242
  2. "The stream of gold and silver has a twofold motion. On the one hand, it spreads out from its sources all over the world, and is absorbed to various extents into the different national spheres of circulation...On the other hand, gold and silver continually flow backwards and forwards between the different national spheres of circulation, and this movement follows the unceasing fluctuations of the rate of exchange." - 243-4

Capital: Volume 1, Chapter 2 by Karl Marx

Chapter 2: The Process of Exchange
  • "In order that these objects may enter into relation with each other as commodities, their guardians must place themselves in relation to one another as persons whose will resides in those objects, and must behave in such a way that each does not appropriate the commodity of the other, and alienate his own...The guardians must therefore recognize each other as owners of private property." - 178
  • "For the owner, his commodity possesses no direct use-value.... It has use-value for others; but for himself its only direct use-value is as a bearer of exchange-value" - 179
  • "only the action of society can turn a particular commodity into the universal equivalent." - 180
  • "The exchange of commodities begins where communities have their boundaries, at their points of contact with other communities, or with members of the latter." - 182
  • requirements of the money-form: "Only a material whose every sample possesses the same uniform quality can be an adequate form of appearance of value, that is a material embodiment of abstract and therefore equal human labour. On the other hand, since the difference between the magnitudes of value is purely quantitative, the money commodity must be capable of purely quantitative differentiation, it must therefore be divisible at will, and it must also be possible to assemble it again from its component parts. Gold and silver possess these properties of nature." - 184
  • "Money, like every other commodity, cannot express the magnitude of its value except relatively in other commodities." - 186
  • "This physical object, gold or silver in its crude state, becomes, immediately on its emergence from the bowels of the earth, the direct incarnation of all human labour. Hence the magic of money. Men are henceforth related to each other in their social process of production in a purely atomistic way." - 187
  • "The riddle of the money fetish is therefore the riddle of the commodity fetish." - 187

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Capital: Volume 1, Chapter 1 by Karl Marx

Chapter 1: The Commodity

- The two factors of the commodity: use-value and value (substance/magnitude of value)
  1. "an external object, a thing which through its qualities satisfies human needs of whatever kind." - 125
  2. "It is therefore the physical body of the commodity itself...which is the use-value or useful thing." - 126
  3. exchange value: "the proportion, in which use-values of one kind exchange for use-values of another kind." - 126
  4. "the exchange relation of commodities is characterized precisely by its abstraction from their use-values." -127
  5. use value: change in quality exchange-value: change in quantity
  6. "Let us now look at the residue of the products of labour. There is nothing left of them in each case but the same phantom-like objectivity; they are merely congealed quantities of homogeneous human labour" - 128
  7. "The common factor in the exchange relation, or in the exchange-value of the commodity, is therefore its value." - 128
  8. magnitude of value: "the quantity of the 'value-forming substance', the labour, contained in the article." - 129
  9. commodities produces in the same time have the same value - 130
  10. productivity up, labor time down, value down - 131
  11. "A thing can be a use-value without being a value." - "Air, virgin soil, natural meadows, unplanted forests, etc." - 131
- The dual character of the labour embodied in commodities
  1. use-values must differ to "confront each other as commodities" for exchange; ex. linen and coat - 132
  2. "The totality of heterogeneous use-values or physical commodities reflects a totality of similarly heterogeneous forms of useful labour, which differ in order, genus, species and variety: in short, a social division of labour." - 132
  3. " the creator of a condition of human existence which is independent of all forms of society; it is an eternal natural necessity which mediates the metabolism between man and nature" - 133
  4. "the same change in productivity which increases the fruitfulness of labour, and therefore the amount of use-values produced by it, also brings about a reduction in the value of this increased total amount" - 137
- The value-form, or exchange-value
  1. "The relative form of value and the equivalent form are two inseparable moments, which belong to and mutually condition each other; but, at the same time, they are mutually exclusive or opposed extremes; i.e. poles of the expression of value." - 139-40
  2. "Human labour-power in its fluid state, or human labour, creates value but is not itself value."; labor --coagulation--> object = value - 142
  3. to be valued, objects require a value-relation with a different commodity; alone, they have only use-value
  4. use-value: linen not= coat; value: linen = coat - 143
  5. relative value: "value of commodity A [linen], thus expressed in the use-value of commodity B [coat]" - 144
  6. "The relative value of a commodity may vary, although its value remains constant. Its relative value may remain constant, although its value varies" - 146
  7. equivalent form: "The commodity linen brings to view its own existence as a value through the fact that the coat can be equated with the linen although it has not assumed a form of value distinct from its own physical form."; "the form in which it is directly exchangeable with other commodities." - 147; iron as a measure of weight, the body of the coat as a measure of value alone - 149
  8. "The secret of the expression of value, namely the equality and equivalence of all kinds of labour because in so far as they are human labour in general, could not be deciphered until the concept of human equality had already acquired the permanence of a fixed popular opinion." - 152
  9. "the relative expression of value of the commodity is incomplete, because the series of its representations never comes to an end." - 156
  10. expanded form of value: "when a particular product of labour, such as cattle, is no longer exceptionally, but habitually, exchanged for various other commodities." - 158
  11. currency as the ultimate equivalent form, "The general relative form of value imposes the character of universal equivalent on the linen, which is the commodity excluded, as equivalent, from the whole world of commodities...The physical form of the linen counts as the visible incarnation, the social chrysalis state, of all human labour." - 159
  12. "The simple commodity form is therefore the germ of the money-form." - 163
- The fetishism of the commodity and its secret
  1. the commodity-form "is nothing but the definite social relation between men themselves which assumes here, for them, the fantastic form of a relation between things." - 165
  2. commodity production resembling religion, "the fetishism that attaches itself to the products of labour as soon as they are produced as commodities", "the products of the human brain appear as autonomous figures endowed with a life of their own" - 165
  3. "Value, therefore, does not have its description branded on its forehead; it rather transforms every product of labour into a social hieroglyphic." - 167
  4. "The religious reflections of the real world can, in any case, vanish only when the practical relations of everyday life between man and man, and man and nature, generally present themselves to him in a transparent and rational form." - 173